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The Education of Millionaires: It's Not What You Think and It's Not Too Late Hardcover – September 29, 2011
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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"Success in the twenty-first century depends on street smarts, not book smarts. It has to do with your motivation, network, passion, and ability to make other believe in you. You'll learn stuff in college, but you won't develop these skills-which are requisite for success in life. Whether you go to college or not, The Education of Millionaires will help you learn what it takes to succeed in today's entrepreneurial economy." — Dale J. Stephens, founder of Uncollege.org
"Michael Ellsberg's book is provocative and wise. Tuition is skyrocketing, job prospects are grim, and the race for bogus credentials has turned into a runaway status competition for positional goods. The Education of Millionaires offers a renegade path for anyone who wants vital skills without the crushing burden of student debt." — Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, creator of the Thiel Fellowship
"Your success in a knowledge society depends on mastery of soft skills and practical intelligence-and yet they don't show up in college or high school curriculums. Ellsberg's rebellious book provides a street-smart education to fill the gap." — Keith Ferrazzi, author of #1 NY Times bestseller Who's Got Your Back
"As Michael so aptly explains in this delightful read: your education starts in the crib and ends when you take your final breath. In a fully realized life, it is all about lifelong learning." — Lynda Resnick, vice chairman of Roll International, Teleflora, and PomWonderful
"Self-education is the key to upgrading your mind and your life. Michael's book teaches you how to unlock the education available outside of classes, all around you." — Matt Mullenweg, creator of WordPress.org
"This book is a masterpiece. Gripping and whip-smart, The Education of Millionaires will forever revolutionize your thoughts on the connection between education, career success and prosperity. Ellsberg is careful to avoid 'motivational fluff' and instead provides mind-blowingly sharp (and humorous) brass-tacks advice on how to profit handsomely by becoming a lifelong learner." — Jenny Blake, author of Life After College
"If entrepreneurs were running schools, instead of bureaucrats, schools would be teaching a lot more of the skills and mindsets found in this book. Since they're not, this book is a necessary antidote to a traditional college education." — Scott Banister, founder of IronPort Systems, Banister Capital
"This is the must read of the next era of education. This one book could be all the education you ever need to massively outperform even the Ivy League. The secrets contained are brilliant and simple to adopt." — Cameron Herold, author of Double Double, former COO of 1-800-GOT- JUNK?
"Just like the entrepreneurs he highlights in his book, Ellsberg challenges the conventional wisdom of what it takes to make it in this world. If you have an idea and the drive, nothing can stop you. And Ellsberg proves it." — Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why
"You don't need a degree to live life on your own terms: you need economically valuable skills. Ellsberg's book is the blueprint for entrepreneurial education." — Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA
"Provocative and timely, Ellsberg lays bare what he sees as a giant hole in much of traditional education-a focus on 'academic' knowledge and a de-emphasis on the knowledge and skills necessary to actually succeed in life. Drawing from a wealth of interviews with successful entrepreneurs, he hones in on seven key success skills that help put you back in the driver's seat." — Jonathan Fields, author of Uncertainty
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I feel so benefited by the fact that I never took an undergraduate marketing class, and instead read this book, got out in the real world, and practiced with an open mind. The people I know who did take marketing classes seem to believe in ridiculous rules (one I often hear is, "you have to tell someone about something seven times for them to buy it") that professors told them. If you know good marketing tactics and can do them well, you can tell a customer about something one time, with one impression, and get a buy from them.
It's the little, simple tips that Ellsberg articulates that will help you most. For instance: When marketing something, think about the need of the customer that you are selling to. That tip alone is worth the purchase price, and probably more practical than anything you would get in a traditional academic education about marketing.
Some objections I have read from other reviewers suggest that the book is a bit sleazy, and that Ellsberg is shamelessly promoting other entrepreneurs. This book is anything but sleazy. In fact, Ellsberg distinguishes between unethical and ethical marketing, with a very clear and helpful social message: do not push your product on someone who does not need, want, or have interest in it. The reason most people hate salespeople is because they think of telemarketers who lie to you claiming you've "signed up to hear about their product" or door-to-door salesmen who try up-front to sell you something without actually thinking about what you need and want, and whether or not their product fits that.
There are plenty of other tips in here: how to build a brand for yourself instead of a resume, how to sell, how to lead, how to network with helpful mentors. Ellsberg really is scratching college graduates where they most itch, so I strongly recommend this book, along with a couple of other great books - SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham, and Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, to anyone who wants to take charge of their own destiny by learning business technique, as opposed to business theory or business rules.
A) a great read. Irreverent, energetic, full of great tales of losers turned successful.
B) lots of hands on, basic tips on how to practice the art of success.
C) a wealth of information on where to turn to dig deeper into the topics of marketing and sales.
If you are already a sales or marketing expert, I recommend instead buying something that digs right into those fields. If you are a self starter, but new to this whole entrepreneur thing, or would like to become a self starter, there's no better book than this one.
Beyond that though I found the book lacking meat, and it reminds me of the Tim Ferris style of writing, where the ideas are good, but lacking further depth.
Almost as if the book was written for the sake of having written a book.
I gave this book 3 stars for the ideas, and encouragement.
For the book, Ellsberg interviewed many college dropouts and entrepreneurs who are now making millions of dollars to discover the skills that made them successful.
He starts with the premise that although what we learn in college can be enlightening, it is mainly abstract and unusable. The "education of millionaires" is built around practical advice that will help you attain your goals and get you further in life.
I've gravitated towards the idea that the reason I don't enjoy many of my college courses is because the knowledge I've gained from these courses is, like Ellsberg says, not instantly usable.
I'm not the type of learner who can enjoy playing with imaginary ideas for 2 straight undergraduate years in the hopes my intuition will be trained to better deal with real-world business decisions. Maybe you aren't either.
That's why Ellsberg recommends "bootstrapping" your education. This is essentially the main point in his book.
WHAT IS BOOTSTRAPPING?
In simple terms, it means taking control of your education and choosing to learn the things that will make you more employable, more efficient, and more successful.
Traditional higher education is focused on your achievement in a 4-month course. Bootstrapped education is focused on your achievement in your life.
Traditional schooling is evaluated by people who have no stake, while bootstrapped education is evaluated by the real world and your successes and failures in dealing with people and companies.
That's what bootstrapping is all about and why it's so appealing to me: learning the skills that can help you NOW and not 4 years in the hopeful future.
THE 7 SKILLS FOR SUCCESS
Ellsberg breaks it down into 7 chapters and these are the lessons I have extracted from each chapter:
1. Get financially stable, then work on finding meaning in your work
2. Find a great mentor and build your network
3. Teach yourself marketing
4. Teach yourself sales
5. Invest in your self-education
6. Build your brand online
7. Adopt the entrepreneurial mindset over the employee mindset
I did find a lot of value out of knowing what skills are applicable to any industry and how you can go about teaching yourself. These skills are broad and applicable to all job-seekers and entrepreneurs.
Unfortunately, it does feel like Ellsberg is just plugging in a lot of his friends' products, but then again, I would do the same if I truly felt that a book or seminar would help someone. The book is centered around teaching people to become "bootstrappers" and find materials to learn by themselves, so it makes sense to offer recommendations.
If you've been unsatisfied with your education at any point in your life, that's okay. You can start bootstrapping at any time.
While a little too wordy and cross-promotional, The Education of Millionaires does provide a good basis to start learning how you can start learning the things that will help you achieve your goals.
Most recent customer reviews
I was skeptical because it had a few negative reviews. But that makes sense since the idea of not going to college is still radical to most...Read more